In an effort to stimulate tourism, the Vietnamese government has attempted to create a replica of a French village on the site of a former wartime resting place once used by the French in the hills near Da Nang.
The remote location must have been an incredible trek back in the day for the soldiers. These days it’s a comfortable and scenic one hour’s drive from Da Nang, then a spectacular gondola ride past beautiful waterfalls and bush-clad hills. If you’re bypassing the gondola ride and are keen to go up on the cheap on your motorbike, it’s a one hour, white knuckle ride from the foot of the gondola in first gear.
As a tourist attraction, a huge amount of money has been invested in the infrastructure, gearing it up for oodles of tourists. On a busy day you’ll need to purchase your gondola pass then wait at least half an hour for your allocated time to go. There’s a restaurant and souvenir shop where you can chill out before you get herded like sheep up for another half an hour at least and down rows, up stairs, back and forth along more rows, until finally you’re able to ride the gondola.
It’s a long, relaxing and beautiful ride. At the top-most point a Hogwarts type cluster of buildings await.
Here the climate is slightly cooler and more refreshing, and there are more places to eat, purchase souvenirs and enjoy the views.
The day that we visited, the ‘resort’ was still under construction in many places. It would be nice to see what it looks like now. Let me know if you’ve visited.